Americans For Democratic Action- put out the call:
“Join other patriotic Americans at noon in downtown Washington, D.C., April 17 — Tax Day 2012 — at the offices of Grover Norquist, the anti-government zealot who has devoted his entire life to making sure the Wall Street 1%’s never pay their fair share!”
Is it possible? Could it really be true? Are Americans ready to take Little Grover’s big stick away?
For anyone who doesn’t know about Mr. Norquist, he is the founder of Americans for Tax Reform, a group whose philosophy is:
“…all consumed income should be taxed one time, at one low and flat rate…all deductions and credits repealed should be replaced by lower tax rates, new deductions and credits, and/or making existing deductions and credits bigger.”
Norquist is responsible for the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge”, which in signing, politicians pledge to
“oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and to oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”
The problem is, Norquist also dictates to legislators what is and isn’t a tax increase; for example, regarding the payroll tax cut he reasoned that:
“…because the payroll tax cut was always billed as a temporary stimulus measure to boost the economy, letting it lapse wouldn’t necessarily be a tax hike.”
He views the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire at the end of 2012 differently,
“…claiming that they were clearly meant to be permanent policies, even if they didn’t end up being that way. Its advocates wanted to make it permanent, but for political reasons, they didn’t.”
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that the payroll tax cut benefits the average American, whereas the Bush tax cuts benefit the wealthy. The real question is, why does one man hold so much sway over Republican policy? What exactly would he do if lawmakers began blowing off the pledge, become a Democrat?
It is improbable that it will never be necessary to raise taxes again, and it is ignorant to legislate at the whim of yet another conservative zealot.
The Campaign For America’s Future explains:
“Since Norquist began his crusade, the United States has seen widespread tax cuts, such as those put in effect by the Bush administration, while military spending has continued to grow. According to Brown University’s “Cost of War” report, the U.S. government is estimated to have spent between $3 trillion and $4 trillion in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Higher war expenditures coupled with less tax revenue leave less and less money for public services that are necessary for maintaining the economy.
Self-identified 1 percenter and Columbia Business school professor Eric J. Schoenberg put the matter in perspective. “It is impossible to create wealth without a good system of public schools to provide an educated work force; without soldiers, policeman and fireman to provide security; without a transportation infrastructure to provide access to a national market of customers,” he said.”
For information on how you can get involved in fighting Norquist’s pledge you can visit stopthepledge.org.
In the meantime I’ll be trying to get lawmakers to sign my pledge: “The No More Damned Pledges Just Do Your Freakin’ Jobs Pledge.